In My Blood it Runs (2019)
I knew that I was going to choose a film about Australia’s First People for this prompt and was gearing up to feature The Song Keepers (2017), Naina Sen’s radiant documentary about the funny and spirited women of the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir. Dujuan, the star of Maya Newell’s In My Blood it Runs, has been on my mind, though, with the talk in the news and our socials lately about systemic racism and violence.
You can click through to my review of it here where you can read a little about the reality of being an Aboriginal child in current-day Alice Springs. Dujuan is 10 and he is talkative, brave, has an independent streak and has trouble sitting still in class or staying home at night. On the news are revelations about the abuse of kids as young as him at the nearby Don Dale juvenile detention centre, where 100% of the kids detained are Aboriginal.
Dujuan is like so many boys I know. If he was non-Indigenous he’d be considered a scallywag and some dedicated and innovative learning support would strive to keep him engaged. He might cause some headaches and drop out of school after year 10 but a Don Dale would never be his most likely future.
This might seem like a heavy film but it is made uplifting by the real collaboration between Newell and Dujuan and his community and the obvious strength and resilience of their culture that grounds them in Country, spirit, family and healing. You can visit the film’s website https://inmyblooditruns.com/ to find out more, including a video of Dujuan addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child – “I want adults to stop cruelling kids in gaol.” You can also find out how you can take action to help improve education, juvenile justice and racism.
And the good news for people in Australia is that you can watch it free on ABC iView until 4 August 2020.
Thank you everyone who has been involved in my 30-day film challenge and my apologies for the occasional pauses. I will endeavour to see many of the films that have been suggested here and on my Fillums Facebook page.
So, one last time – what film do you think everyone should watch?